How to protect your businesses from cyber crime in 9 simple ways
22nd October 2014
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Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, who spoke recently at thebestof Haverhill, stresses the importance of using your instincts when using the internet to avoid becoming the next victims of cyber crime. Tim highlighted some of the main areas where individuals and businesses can get caught out:

  1. Perhaps the easiest and most overlooked way to protect yourself from cyber crime is to keep you name, date of birth, address, bank details and any other personal information confidential. Any personal data you give out could be misused but ensure you take extra care when paying for things online as not all webpages are secure. Look out for the secure padlock sign in the websites URL which should start “https”.
  2. It is vitally important that you keep all of your devices such as computers, laptops and mobile phones secure with passwords and up to date with the latest anti-virus software. By doing this, if you do open a spam email or visit an insecure website and a virus or Trojan horse forces its way into your device, this software will help keep you protected. Nobody wants to see the “blue screen of death” when your computer crashes, especially if you are in the middle of a huge project.
  3. It is important to make sure that all of your staff and colleagues are educated on cyber crime. This way they will know all the risks and take extra care online by signing out of any bank accounts they are logged into and to take care when browsing the internet to only view secure, recognisable sights.
  4. Be aware of fake websites! Criminals are extremely good at duplicating the content and overall look of a website to trick you into thinking you are viewing the same website you used last month, for example, to pay a deposit on your holiday. However once you have put your password in, the hackers have all of your details and can access your private data, whether it be your emails or your bank details. Next time you decide to pay a deposits for your holiday online, double check the website is genuine and secure! 
  5. Too many of us all have simple passwords that we use multiple times and are easily guessable. One of the easiest and key things we can all do to protect ourselves is to choose better passwords! To find out how please read the blog on password security written by web designer Rachel Watson.
  6. If you are buying a product from a seller on eBay and are going to view the product before you decide to purchase it, do not view the item alone. Also make sure you check the sellers history before you make any decisions about buying the product.
  7. “If it looks too good to be true then it probably is!” Don’t fall for spam emails, we all know there is no such thing as a free lunch and when would you ever pay hundreds of pounds for a prize? Don’t fall into the trap like so many others.
  8. In the run up to Christmas many people will be sending Christmas cards via email. Before you open these cards ask yourself “Would this person be likely to have sent me a Christmas card via my email address?” If you aren’t sure don’t open it, especially if you don’t know who the card is from.
  9. Back up your data. Businesses can lose data as well as money if they become a victim of a cyber attack. Thanks to cloud computing and new internet technologies online data-backup solutions are cost effective for small businesses so it is vital that we are using these services to cover ourselves if we become unlucky enough to experience a cyber attack.

Some sound advice from Tim, common-sense based solutions that businesses can adapt to protect themselves from cyber crime. Cyber criminals are smart so we won’t all be able to keep up with them but we can definitely do more to ensure our businesses and data are protected and secure. Don’t allow your business to become a victim of cyber crime.

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